With drastic changes having been made in the first team, Newcastle began their season facing their toughest opponent in the division. From the first centre pass it was clear that Newcastle were hungry for a win as they defended fiercely down the court, staying level with Manchester and ending the first quarter with everything still to play for at 9-9. Newcastle applied pressure to Manchester’s set plays but the opposition’s faultless shooting meant that by half time Newcastle were down by just a few goals. In the second half of the whole team pulled together and communicated well, with excellent shooting from Hollie Joyce and Jess Wheeler. Although Newcastle did not take the victory, they played an incredible game of netball and are determined to beat Manchester when the match is played on home turf.
Having to face a team that played in the prem last season is not an ideal first match, but Newcastle still went in with a positive attitude and were ready to challenge Leeds. In the first few minutes the defence really stepped up with immediate tips made by Laura Brady forcing Leeds to make quick and unsteady passes. However Leeds took advantage of our few fumbles when feeding into the attack and created a 14-1 lead. As the game progressed Frankee Bonnett made forceful drives and allowed the attack to work with more fluidity, but this wasn’t enough to catch up with Leeds’ unstoppable shooters. Despite the score at half time (36-6), Newcastle continued to work at their own pace with Lauren Mcnallen linking play well between the defence and attack. It is safe to say that the score does not reflect the team’s effort and they still expect to have a great season.
Although the start may have been a bit shaky with centre court needing to assert themselves more the team managed to pull their game back by making stronger drives in order to outplay Durham and keep the score close at 5-8. In the second quarter Newcastle settled into their new team and found their feet. There was great play from Katie Isbister who gave brilliant feeds into Goal Shooter Molly Macleod (player of the match). By half time Newcastle had taken the lead and were dominating on court. In the third quarter crucial turnovers were made by the team Captain Natalie Brown. But the game was still close going into the final fifteen minutes as Newcastle dropped behind by four goals but managed to pull it back and win the game 34-30. A brilliant start to the season for the 3rd team, who no doubt have a good chance of promotion this year.
The game started strong with the team communicating well and making strong drives in attack to move the ball down the court. Nadia Herhoffer also made some crucial tips on the defensive third line that her team were able to convert into goals. In the second quarter the opposition really stepped up their game and making it hard for Newcastle to score. But we stuck tight in defence getting lots of tips in the D and Scarlett Shaw had great movement in attack.
In the third quarter we continued to apply pressure all down the court and the attack continued to push through, especially Jess Tracey at GA who was marking a very physical player. Even though Leeds started to pull away the team managed to find a burst of energy in the last quarter proving to Leeds that we would try our hardest until the last second. Ellie Folger played a spectacular game providing support all down the court and offering solid feeds. The team has taken a lot away from the game and will look to continue giving 100% all season.